Author Topic: Scenery design / objects questions  (Read 777 times)

Stearmandriver

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Scenery design / objects questions
« on: January 24, 2017, 09:00:06 AM »
Hello all,

This should possibly have gone in the "object libraries" subforum, but it doesn't seem very active and seems more geared towards helping users with library install issues, so I'm going to try it here.  Feel free to tell me to move it.

So, I've been bitten by the scenery design bug.  It all started innocently enough - I was cheating on Misty's in warmer climes, flying around Papua New Guinea playing with Air Hauler, running a bush operation in my trusty Beavers in and out of ORBX's completely awesome sloping, slanting, rough mountain strips that come with the Tapini and AYPY "experience" packages.  The Tapini strips had AFCADs but no runways in the AFCADs so I learned how to add a zero-width runway using ADEX.  Easy nough.  But the AYPY strips are even more fun, and had no AFCADs at all, so I learned to make an AFCAD from scratch.  Also easy enough.  And then I realized via Google Earth that there are a couple "missing" bush strips around the Kokoda track that ORBX didn't build.  So... I learned how to create photoscenery using SBuilderX.  I thought it would be a real challenge to build an accurately sloping, slanting strip, but it turns out that if you place the photoscenery in its real-world location, ORBX's mesh is accurate enough that it just works perfect, clings to the mesh.  Of course blend masks, autogen annotation, and object placement went along with that.  Annnnnd... now I'm hooked ;-).

So I was going to attempt to build some similar sloping, slanting rough mountainside bush strips in Misty's world.  Of course if I end up with anything worth sharing I'll be glad to, though that may be questionable lol.  I'm just in the scouting location phase now, but I'm wondering about a couple things:

1.  These won't be real-world strips so I can't just use photoscenery for my runway image.  I assume creating a custom texture poly in SBuilder using satellite imagery of a gravel or dirt runway is the way to go for this?  Or do you guys use a different technique? 
2.  Along those lines, is there a collection of runway photosceneries somewhere that I can use for textures?  Or am I making my own out of actual gravel runway imagery from Google Earth?  That's fine too, would be fun.
3.  Objects:  now this is where I'm fuzzy.  I've been using Misty's scenery for a year or two so I have the object libraries installed.  To use objects from those libraries, would I just add them using the Sbuilder Object Library Manager? 
4.  General question about objects:  does the end user (if it's not me) need to have the library installed?  Or, if I just use a couple objects from a library, can I include them in my scenery folder somehow?
5.  Is there a catalog somewhere of the objects available in each library, or is it a matter of adding them to SBuilder and just browsing thumbnails?
6.  And lastly (whew), can anyone recommend a good runway edge marker object - like a nice white cone or something - that I can use on my PNG strips?  I've been sticking with default FSX objects thus far for convenience, but there doesn't seem to be anything suitable in default FSX... just an orange traffic cone which is invisible from any distance.

Thanks much for any guidance on any or all of these.  Newb questions, I know... I've done my best to search but just can't find these answers.

ualani

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Re: Scenery design / objects questions
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 12:42:52 PM »
Wow, lots of questions!

I can only address your questions #4, #5 and #6  at this time as I don't do any scenery or object design in SBX:
 
"4.  General question about objects:  does the end user (if it's not me) need to have the library(s) installed?  Or, if I just use a couple objects from a library, can I include them in my scenery folder somehow?"

Yes, the end user has to have the library installed.
No. Don't add the objects that you use from a previously installed RTMM library to a scenery folder.

"5.  Is there a catalog somewhere of the objects available in each library, or is it a matter of adding them to SBuilder and just browsing thumbnails?"

No, there is no objects thumbnail catalog, per se. To the best of my knowledge all of the scenery developers at RTMM use Instant Scenery (IS) to place objects. IS has a thumbnail making utility that catalogs all of the objects that you've installed on your system and wish to have thumbnails for. I don't know how SBX handles importing thumbnails. The Model Converter X utility (MCX) also has a decent thumbnail creation utility.

"6.  And lastly (whew), can anyone recommend a good runway edge marker object - like a nice white cone or something - that I can use on my PNG strips?  I've been sticking with default FSX objects thus far for convenience, but there doesn't seem to be anything suitable in default FSX... just an orange traffic cone which is invisible from any distance."

I'm sure that you can find something that suits your edge marker object somewhere in one of our huge FSXP3D libraries. My best guess that there are nearly 8,000 or more objects of all kinds in there! If you see a suitable object already placed in an RTMM scenery that you are interested in, shoot me a PM and I'll try to run it down for you.

Keep in mind that you may not share or upload any RTMM libraries or custom objects to any other website. (For example Avism, Flightsim.com, etc.) If you are interested in making scenery for RTMM I suggest reading the "Rules and Regs for Authors Contributing to RTMM" requirements here:

http://return.mistymoorings.com/about/#r

Steve
RTMM Library Manager

(Edited in order to correct 2 typos)
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 07:04:52 PM by ualani »

Bradallen43

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Re: Scenery design / objects questions
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2017, 02:50:42 PM »
I second Steve's suggestion. We'd love to have more airstrips and scenery locations made for use at RTMM inside our areas of coverage. (Tongass Fjords, Pacific Fjords, Pacific Northwest and Southern Alaska)
And then you'd have a space here at RTMM made available to you that would enable you to get your work out there into the freeware users hands. Also as a developer for RTMM, you'd have full access to use any of our libraries of objects to freely use as you see fit in your designs.

We'd love to have you as a developer,

Brad

stiletto2

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Re: Scenery design / objects questions
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2017, 05:59:06 PM »

......So I was going to attempt to build some similar sloping, slanting rough mountainside bush strips in Misty's world.  Of course if I end up with anything worth sharing I'll be glad to, though that may be questionable lol.  I'm just in the scouting location phase now, but I'm wondering about a couple things:

1.  These won't be real-world strips so I can't just use photoscenery for my runway image.  I assume creating a custom texture poly in SBuilder using satellite imagery of a gravel or dirt runway is the way to go for this?  Or do you guys use a different technique? 
2.  Along those lines, is there a collection of runway photosceneries somewhere that I can use for textures?  Or am I making my own out of actual gravel runway imagery from Google Earth?  That's fine too, would be fun.
3.  Objects:  now this is where I'm fuzzy.  I've been using Misty's scenery for a year or two so I have the object libraries installed.  To use objects from those libraries, would I just add them using the Sbuilder Object Library Manager?  .........


Thanks much for any guidance on any or all of these.  Newb questions, I know... I've done my best to search but just can't find these answers.

Hi Stearmandriver,

That is great that you have learned how to use ADE for airports and SBX for photoscenery including annotation, blend masks etc.  I agree with Steve's answers on 4, 5 & 6.  SBX is an area that I do have some experience in but I am not an expert by any means.  However, I will try to answer the first 3 questions.  One caveat....I only do real world scenery so I would rarely use ADE since the basic ADEX.bgl for the airport is usually there.

1. & 2.  For me creating custom textures is a pain so the technique I use for runway textures is to start with a piece of photo scenery that overlays the runway area I plan to texture.  You could do this after you create the ADEX for the runway if you wish.  I decide on a texture look and then search for something like it using available free textures on the web such as found at textures.com.  I then take the .bmp from the photo scenery capture and repaint it as appropriate with textures of choice.   Painting requires a paint program that handles layers.  Don't know if you already use one but I use Corel's Paint Shop Pro X5.  I think the current edition is X9 but X5 still is good enough for me.  Once painted you can follow the normal steps for blend, annotate etc.

3.  As far as objects go you should do all object placement with Instant Scenery (IS)as object placement with SBX is a pain.  You can build yourself a repository of objects (from the standard RTMM libraries) by category using IS.  In that way you will always have objects to quickly search out based on the way you categorized them.  Steve is correct, that you don't need to create your own object libraries ....just use ours to populate your scenery.  You definitely don't want to build your own object libraries that use our objects. 

If you do have a project that you envision submitting to RTMM for possible inclusion in our scenery libraries, make sure you send a memo to obtain an OK on the area you plan to scenic since the RTMM developers centrally clear their plans for future projects through Brad so we don't wind up with multiple people working separately on the same space.   The RTMM flying area is large but, considering the amount of work you might put in to an effort you want to submit, it is worth is to get the target location approved ahead of time.  I will also mention that building scenery outside of a formal ORBX full fat region offers support issues etc. as we are finding out with BWEP.  I only develop scenery inside full fat ORBX regions to avoid those kind of issues.

I would be happy to interact with you on SBX etc. via private email.  If you so desire, just message me and I will respond with my email and we can go from there.

Hope this helps.

Rod


Stearmandriver

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Re: Scenery design / objects questions
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2017, 11:08:55 PM »
Gentleman,

Thanks very much for the thoughtful replies.  You've all given me some confirmation I'm on the right track, and/or guidance on where the right track is.  It all helps, thanks.

I appreciate your concern over my sharing of your object libraries.  Just to clarify, I was certainly not intending to do that.  I have a lot of respect for what everyone has built here; I wouldn't think of distributing it.  But I understand these things need to be verbalized.

Rod, you've given me a third (and I think, superior) technique for creating a runway texture.  I was thinking I'd either have to create a piece of photoreal of the real-world runway texture I wanted, blend mask out everything but the runway, and then try to fiddle with it's location calibration until it landed where I wanted it; or I'd have to create a custom texture for a textured poly and figure out how (or if) a type of blend mask could be applied to that.  But I think I like yours better... make a photoreal map of the actual area I'm working on, slap a runway chopped out of satellite imagery in as a new layer in the right location, flatten and use as new map, then blendmask everything out but the runway.  Perfect.

I have much experimentation to do before I'd have anything ready to sure; I'll revisit your resources for RTTM developers at that time and will advise if/when I reach that point.  If I do, I'd be excited to give something back to this community, but I'm still in the "filling in the gaps" stage.

Thanks guys!

Bradallen43

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Re: Scenery design / objects questions
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2017, 12:57:24 PM »
No worries. We'll leave the door open for you at Misty's Place. Just lock up when you leave.

Brad